Summer is all about fun, right? Unfortunately, sometimes summer fun can hurt a little. Check out these tips from Dr. Jim Sears on how you can prevent injuries and illness at summer festivities.
Sparklers – They may be a festive touch to a night-time gathering, but these handheld fireworks should be left to adults or professionals. Did you know that the tips of sparklers can reach temperatures of 1800 degrees? They can cause a third degree burn in just 30 seconds.
Barbecues & Open Fires - Keep little ones far away from barbecue grills, open fires, or fire pits. Kids are mesmerized by fire, and you don't want even a brief contact to cause a nasty burn.
Bug Repellant – To protect against bites from mosquitoes, repellents containing DEET are most effective. They have been tested and approved as safe for kids, but be sure to choose a repellent with no more than 30% concentration of DEET. Use a lower concentration if kids will be outside only for an hour or two, and do not apply more than once a day. Or, make your own natural bug spray using one of the following: citronella oil, lemon eucalyptus oil, cinnamon oil, castor oil, rosemary oil, lemongrass oil, cedar oil or peppermint oil.
Car Seats & Seatbelts - In the summer, these safety measures can become dangerous, especially in hotter temperatures. Take towels and wash cloths to wrap around hot metal or plastic fixtures in the car.
Playground Equipment – Taking the kids to the local playground is a great way to get their hearts pumping without breaking the bank, but on a sunny day, the equipment can heat up to 160 degrees in the sun. Test out the slides and jungle gyms with the back of your hand before letting the little ones play.
Dehydration– Children give off more heat, but sweat less than adults. They also don’t have the same thirst mechanism that adults do, meaning that dehydration is definitely a concern for active youngsters. Make sure your kids drink plenty of water and snack on foods with high water content like celery, watermelon and popsicles. Severe dehydration can become a medical emergency if left untreated and can cause low blood pressure, rapid heartbeat, fever and even delirium or unconsciousness. How do you know if your child is dehydrated? Look for these tell-tale signs: dry mouth, infrequent urination. Major indicators include parched lips, fatigue, “tenting”—pinch skin on forearm; in dehydrated individuals, skin doesn’t snap back right away.